Cimskil — High Throughput Manufacturing

1.    Press Release. Cimskil Manufacturing Release 8.5 is now available.

The new release includes:

  • The new Manufacturing Expert capabilities, for end-user programming of automated manufacturing methods.
  • Numerous enhancements, including many extensions to the automatic feature recognition capabilities, as a result of customer feedback.

2.    Press Release. Defense Manufacturing Excellence Award.

At the DOD Manufacturing Conference, held in Dallas in December, 2002, the High Throughput Manufacturing Program received the highly prestigious award for Manufacturing Excellence. As Cimskil is the foundation technology for the program, we feel especially honored.

3.   "Modern Machine Shop".

We are delighted that the Cimskil was featured in the April edition Modern Machine Shop front cover article "Empowering the Programmer". The article can be viewed at the MMS web site.

4.    DOD Contract Award - High Throughput Manufacturing Manufacturing Programs.

We were awarded Phase III of the DOD High Throughput Manufacturing Program for automation of manufacturing processes for titanium parts.

This contract, valued at $700,000.00 to our company, after cost-sharing with the Department of Defense, follows on from the Hithru Program Phases I and II.

Hithru Phases I and II addressed two major areas:

  • Automation of manufacturing engineering tasks for machining 5-axis aerospace parts, based upon the recognition of manufacturing features on the as-designed part with subsequent automated processing of all work required to produce the first good part.
  • Implementation of a means for end-users to easily program their manufacturing practices for use in automated processing.

For details of the highly encouraging results of Hithru to date, please see Hithru Program.

Team Members for Phases I and II, who were also in Phase III:

  • National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (Program Management)
  • Warner Robins Air Logistics Center
  • Sikorsky Aircraft
  • Cincinnati Machine
  • Technology Answers

It is appropriate here to record our thanks to the team members who provided us with so much advice and guidance - and criticism when necessary!

New Team Members for Phase III were:

  • Boeing Defense & Space
  • Naval Aviation Depot, Cherry Point

Project Objectives for Phase III

The objective of HITHRU phase III is to develop and capture in CimskilTM best manufacturing practices for titanium components, and apply that knowledge to productivity improvement.

Titanium machining is more complex than aluminum machining. The material is much harder, making the selection of tools, inserts, and coatings a critical factor in determining machining parameters such as axial and radial depth of cut, feed rate and spindle RPM. It is also more expensive than aluminum, resulting in a greater need for efficiency in shop cutting tests. Titanium components with long machining cycles, for a given feature, will require a tool change (to overcome tool dulling) before the feature is completed. That means that the machining system must compensate for any inaccuracy introduced via a tool change. The issue is further complicated by the fact that program participants use a mixture of slab and forging stocks. Slab stock can use the fixturing methods developed in HITHRU phase I, but forging stock will require new fixturing strategies.